Panama Canal Authority Penalizes Detained N. Korean Ship
Panama's Canal Authority has slapped a fine of up to $1-million on the owners of a North Korean ship seized in July 2013 for smuggling Cuban weapons destined for North Korea hidden under 10,000 tons of sugar, reports Reuters.
The ship, the Chong Chon Gang, and its 35-member crew remain in Panama, despite a request from Pyongyang seeking a "diplomatic manner" to resolve the situation.
Panamanian investigators detained the vessel near the Atlantic entrance to the canal after receiving a tip it was carrying drugs.
Cuban officials maintained the ship contained only a donation of sugar to North Korea, but investigators found military cargo hidden between containers stuffed with raw Cuban sugar.